MACON, Ga. – Stetson University tennis players Diana Bukajeva and Chester Espie were both awarded spots on the A-Sun’s Academic All-Conference team for 2014, the conference office announced Tuesday. Bukejeva claimed one of eight slots the Atlantic Sun awarded to female student athletes in the conference and Espie accomplished the same feat for the men.
Bukajeva, a senior from Riga, Latvia is a business administration major and boasted a 3.83 GPA, heading into the Spring 2014 semester. This is the second such honor for her as she was also named to the conference’s academic team in 2013 and was a conference scholar during that same year.
This season Bukajeva has once again not just excelled in the classroom, but on the court as well, compiling a 16-4 record in singles play at the No. 1 position and taking home A-Sun Player of the Week honors on two occasions.
Espie, a junior from Auckland, New Zealand is a finance major, with a 3.63 GPA. He was named to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference team a year ago and was also a conference scholar.
The Kiwi has earned a 13-5 record this year, primarily playing at the No. 4 position and has also garnered national attention in doubles play as he and partner Laurynas Antropikas were given a No. 78 ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The two compiled an 8-5 record in 14 total matches, playing on either the No. 1 or 2 courts.
This is the second straight season both Espie and Bukajeva have been the Hatters’ lone representatives on the A-Sun’s Academic All-Conference team, as last season Bukajeva was a unanimous selection.
Atlantic Sun All-Conference Team honors are the next set of post-season awards to be announced on the heels of the A-Sun Tournament. Both the Stetson men and women are preparing for their respective conference championships, scheduled for Apr. 17-19 at North Florida.
The women enter the championship as a No. 4 seed and will take on Mercer in the first round, while the men have also been given a No. 4 ranking, but will take on USC Upstate in their opening match in Jacksonville.